Retail Trends to Watch in 2016

happy-new-year-622149_960_720w2With the beginning of a new year right around the corner, there’s no better time than now for retailers to plan their strategy for 2016. Retail is a dynamic, ever-changing industry in which new trends emerge on a regular basis. So, what kind of retail trends can you expect to see in 2016?

iBeacon

Many retailers already use Apple’s iBeacon technology, but it will likely become even more commonplace in 2016 and going forward. In case this is your first time hearing about it, let me explain: iBeacon consists of Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) devices that are capable of sending digital messages to nearby shoppers. If a shopper approaches the footwear section of a department store, for instance, iBeacon can automatically send a 10-20% off shoes coupon to his or her smartphone.

More Mobile Sales

Of course, mobile online sales is also expected to increase next year. Last year, U.S. consumers spent roughly $56.67 billion in mobile purchases. Experts predict this number will rise to $74.93 billion by the end of the year. And in 2016, U.S. consumers are predicted to spend $96.22 billion in mobile purchases. Retailers should embrace this trend by ensuring their online stores are compatible on both desktops and mobile devices; otherwise, they’ll be losing a significant chunk of sales.

Multi-Sensory Shopping Experience

Retailers are now implementing techniques to stimulate shoppers’ senses. Aside from visual stimulation, they may also include soothing, relaxing music to make shoppers feel more comfortable, as well as certain scents. Auto dealers have long used scents to increase sales, spraying special chemicals inside cars that create the characteristic new car smell. It appears now that retailers are following in their footsteps, using a similar strategy in which scented fragrances are released into the air.

Personalized Service

Last but not least, you can expect to see more personalized service in retail stores and shops. In other words, retailers are differentiating themselves by providing an exceptional level of customer service that’s tailored towards the shopper. This may include recognizing and acknowledging regular shoppers by name, as well as offering recommendations on apparel or products based on the shopper’s style. Offering personalized service such as this promotes a positive shopping experience.

If you have any questions at all about visual merchandising, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at https://www.melvinroos.com/contact-us/.

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Are You Making these Mistakes with Your Window Display?

2969910832_4e4a2b4825_zA well-designed window display will have a positive impact on your store’s traffic, and subsequently, its sales. It will catch shoppers’ attention, encouraging them to walk into your store and check out the advertised product. However, the wrong window display will have the opposite effect by discouraging shoppers to enter your store.

It Doesn’t Connect with Your Target Audience

When designing a window display, consider your target audience and whether or not they can relate to the elements being displayed. If you operate a store that sells women’s apparel, for instance, you should stick with female mannequins in your window displays. On the other hand, if your store sells sporting goods products, you may want to use male mannequins that are dressed and positioned in sports poses. Following this simple rule will go a long ways in enhancing your window displays.

Too Much Blank Space

While there’s rule stating that you must use every available square inch of space in your store’s window display, leaving too much empty space creates a bland appearance that will ultimately hurt your efforts to attract new customers. If there’s open space in your window display, consider filling it with props or decorations. You don’t have to necessarily fill empty spaces with products, but rather include props to enhance the display and make it more attractive.

Inadequate Lighting

Don’t underestimate the importance of lighting in your window displays. Lighting will illuminate your display, enhancing the advertised products for a greater level of visibility. Rather than using just standard overhead lighting, however, you should consider using track lighting. With track lighting, you can adjust the fixtures to focus on specific products or elements of your display.

It’s Disorganized

A good window display should be clean and well-organized. If there’s random props and debris scattered throughout, it may have a negative impact on shoppers. Therefore, you should put forth the effort to clean and organize your window displays.

No Central Theme

Want to know the secret to designing an effective window display? It’s the theme. If you check out some of the window displays designed by the biggest national retailers, you’ll probably notice that they all have a central theme. Sometimes the theme is obvious, while other times its more subjective. Build your window display around a basic theme that reflects the advertised products for maximum effectiveness.

If you have any questions at all about visual merchandising, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at https://www.melvinroos.com/contact-us/.

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5 Simple Visual Merchandising Tips to Boost Sales

6793826885_d3b6befb99_b(2)Group in Threes

As noted by the retailing experts at Shopify, grouping products and visual displays in threes can prove useful in attracting shoppers’ attention. How does this work? Well, the human brain is hard-wired to respond with a higher level of engagement with presented with asymmetrical designs. Shoppers may walk right by a window display featuring two mannequins. But if you set up this display with three mannequins, it may trigger a visceral response that forces shoppers to stop and look.

Increase Lighting

Lighting (or lack thereof) will play a direct role in your sales. Stores that are dim, dark and offer minimal lighting won’t achieve the same number of sales as stores that are well-illuminated. It’s just that simple. Survey your store’s landscape, installing additional lighting in dim areas. Lighting ideas may include track lighting, wall sconces, floor lamps, and even miniature chandeliers. Track lighting has become a popular choice among retailers, as it can be projected directly on products and visual merchandising designs.

Optimize Gridwall and Slatwall

When using gridwall or slatwall, it’s important that you adjust the pegs to maximize the available space. In order words, don’t just toss up pegs randomly and call it a day. This will have a negative impact on both the aesthetics of your store, as well as shoppers’ buying decision. A better approach is to adjust the pegs so each and every available inch of the gridwall or slatwall has a product. It may take some adjusting, but with a little bit of work you should be able to properly optimize your gridwall or slatwall.

Use Props

Don’t underestimate the power of props in your store’s displays. Effective displays are all about telling a story, and there’s no better way to accomplish this than by using props. If you’re selling swimsuits, for instance, try setting up beach towels and beach balls next to a group of mannequins.

Rotate Products

So, you’ve found the magic formula for your store’s visual merchandising displays? Even if it’s attracting new customers and boosting sales, though, you should still get into the habit of rotating new products into the display. Shoppers grow tired of seeing the same product over and over, meaning the benefits of well-designed display will begin to diminish. By rotating new products into it, you’ll keep shoppers interested and engaged, which should have a positive impact on sales.

If you have any questions at all about visual merchandising, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at https://www.melvinroos.com/contact-us/.

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Comparing The Different Types of Retail Wall Fixtures

Photoxpress_2135925Wall fixtures are an excellent way to display products in a retail store without taking up an unnecessary amount of space. Rather than placing large, bulky fixtures directly in the middle of the store, owners can place space-saving fixtures up against the wall to take full advantage of their store’s ‘real estate.’ In turn, this allows store owners and managers to display a greater amount of product while maintaining a clean, customer-friendly environment.

Pegboard

Pegboard is one wall-based display solution that many retail stores and businesses use. Some of the nation’s top grocery store chains use it to display products, but other stores can take advantages of the versatility behind pegboard as well. It’s inexpensive, easy to set up and use, and you rearrange the product to maximize the available space. If a particular product doesn’t fit, just pull the hook out of the pegboard and reposition it in a manner so it does.

Slatwall

While pegboard is one solution for a retail wall fixture, slatwall is another idea. Unlike pegboard, slatwall is produced with more of an emphasis on aesthetics; therefore, it’s a better wall fixture for stores trying to achieve a well designed interior decor. From afar, slatwall looks similar to a sheet of authentic hardwood. Once you inspect it up close, however, you’ll notice there are several horizontal lines running down it. These ‘lines’ allow for the attachment of product display hooks. You simply snap the hook into the horizontal indention and fill it with the appropriate product.

Gridwall

A third solution for retail wall fixtures is gridwall. Some people assume that slatwall and gridwall refer to the same type of fixture, but this isn’t the case. While they share some similar characteristics, there are notable differences between the two. Slatwall is manufactured to mimic the look of hardwood, allowing it to easily blend in to some store’s decor. Gridwall, on the other hand, features a basic metal grid design (hence the name). You can find gridwall available in traditional metallic chrome, white and black colors.

There’s no single ‘best’ solution for retail wall fixtures. Since each and every retail store is unique, you’ll need to identify the needs of your store to determine which one will work the best. Consider the fixture’s ability to display your product along with its effect on the decor. Ideally, you want to choose a fixture that easily holds your product while blending into your store’s color palette and decor.

If you have any questions at all about shelving, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at https://www.melvinroos.com/contact-us/.

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These Mannequins Are Watching You…

eyes-01Mannequins are typically used in retail stores to display apparel and fashion accessories. By placing products on a human-like form, shoppers can see exactly how the item looks when worn, which of course translates into more sales. But the Italian mannequin-maker Almax is taking a step in a different direction with its innovative new line of mannequins.

According to a report by Retail Innovation, Almax has developed a line of EyeSee mannequins featuring video cameras embedded into the eyes. They appear to be ordinary mannequins from the outside, but the eyes have video cameras with facial-recognition software, tracking shoppers’ movements and actions. The camera automatically works in conjunction with the software, identifying shoppers’ age, gender and race.

You might be wondering why any retail store would feel the need to use a mannequin with a video camera? Well, there are several benefits worth noting, one of which is its positive impact on theft. Each year, U.S.-based retailers lose billions of dollars to shoplifting — a cost that places many businesses at risk for being shut down. EyeSee mannequins, however, can deter theft by providing supplemental video surveillance for retail store owners.

Of course, the real benefit of Almax’s innovative line of EyeSee mannequins is its ability to track shoppers’ movement. Ever wonder who’s checking out your products? With EyeSee, you can easily capture data regarding the demographic of shoppers who view certain products. And using this information, you can make smarter marketing and visual merchandising decisions. Demographic data goes a long ways in the retail industry, and the EyeSee mannequin may help retailers capture this data more easily. The only real downside is its hefty price tag of $4,600 for the standard model.

Any software that can help profile people while keeping their identities anonymous is fantastic. It could really enhance the shopping experience, the product assortment, and help brands better understand their customers,” said Uché Okonkwo, executive director of consultant Luxe Corp.

Almax is also planning to implement a microphone in its EyeSee mannequins. If successful, it will eavesdrop on shoppers, listening to what they have to say about a product or display.

Do you think the EyeSee mannequin is helpful or creepy?

If you have any questions at all about mannequins or visual merchandising in general, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at https://www.melvinroos.com/contact-us/.

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Common Pitfalls To Avoid When Designing a Window Display

4269899578_b05b0c6962_zPoor Lighting

Arguably, one of the most common mistakes store owners make when setting up a window display is using inadequate lighting.  Whether you intend to use an overhead fixture, track lighting, wall sconces, table lamps, floor lamps, etc., you should check to make sure it’s fully capable of illuminating the display. Dimly lit displays are difficult for shoppers to see, and they don’t emphasize the products as well. Thankfully, this is an easy problem to fix, as you can install additional lighting to enhance the display with greater illumination.

Too Many Products

Another all-too-common mistake is trying to force too many products into a single window display. There’s no rule, written or otherwise, stating that you must fill every square inch of your window. When a window display is cluttered with too many products, it creates a messy appearance that ultimately reduces its impact on shoppers. Stick with a few product to ensure your displays have a positive effect on shoppers.

Not Seeking Help

Don’t try to tackle a large window display by yourself. If you aren’t familiar with the products, contact the manufacturer/merchant and ask for their assistance. Most vendors will gladly send a representative to help you set up a window display. After all, you’re promoting their products, so it’s in the vendor’s best interest to offer a helping hand. In addition to the advice and labor offered by vendors, some may even bring their own promotional material to further enhance your window display.

Broad Demographic Targeting

Instead of trying to make your window display appeal to everyone, focus on targeting a more narrow demographic. Ask yourself, who would purchase these products? Now, set up your window display so it appeals to this target demographic. Creating a more narrow window display will yield greater engagement, and subsequently more sales.

Not Testing New Things

Even if your window display is effective in attracting shoppers and generating  sales, you should constantly make new changes to see what works and what doesn’t. Over time, shoppers will grow tired of seeing the same display, at which point it will slowly lose its effectiveness. Making subtle changes, however, will keep shoppers engaged and interested

If you have any questions at all about setting up a window display, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at https://www.melvinroos.com/contact-us/.

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Tips For Setting Up In-Store Mannequin Displays

478291639_8c6b699097_zWhether you own a retail clothing store or a small fashion boutique, your business will certainly benefit from the use of a mannequin display. As shoppers walk by, they’ll see your work right in front of their eyes and actually get an idea of what it looks like when worn. However, if you want your mannequin to create a positive effect, then you need to know how to properly style it.

You should never rush into styling your mannequin. If it’s not done right, it can turn customers away and have them never look back. On the other hand, if it’s done right, you’ll have repeat customers who come back to not only buy your new apparel and accessories, but to see what you have styled on your mannequin as well.

Location Matters

Before styling your mannequin, you should decide where you want to place it. If there are prominent see-through windows in your store, you should place it there for the highest level of visibility. If this isn’t an option, then placing it near the entry of your store is usually recommended. Remember, the whole purpose of a mannequin is to capture the attention of passer-bys and get them interested in the products on the mannequin, so place your mannequin in a location with high visibility.

Styling Your Mannequin: Where To Start

One of the most effective ways to utilize your mannequin is to style it in the latest designs and types of clothes in your store. Customers are always intrigued by new apparel, so use your mannequin(s) to display it.

When you dress your mannequin, you may need to custom tailor the clothes to fit their body. Not all mannequins are made in the same size and if you want clothes to properly fit them, tailoring might be necessary. An alternative method to tailoring the clothes is to simply use pins to pin up the problem areas. Look for areas where the clothes are baggy or hanging off and simply place some inconspicuous pins there. As long as you cant see the pins, then this method is okay to use.

After you’ve dressed your mannequin in clothes, it’s time to accessorize them. A lot of store owners only use clothes on their mannequins, and while this is completely fine, it’s not using the mannequin display to its full potential. If your store sells accessories such as sunglasses, necklaces or earrings, try placing them on your mannequin. Even if your store doesn’t sell any accessories, you should can still add some extra style and character to your mannequin by doing so.

If you have any questions at all about visual merchandising please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at https://www.melvinroos.com/contact-us/.

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5 Tips To Improve Your Window Displays

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Tip #1) Tell a Story

Storytelling isn’t limited strictly for your son or daughter’s bedtime stories. It’s also an essential component in creating an effective window display. By telling a story within your display, you’ll subsequently make the products more relatable to shoppers. For example, a beach-themed window display may consist of several mannequins decked out in bathing suits, surfboards, beach towels, and other related accessories.

Tip #2) Make It Bold

You can’t expect to achieve an effective window display unless it’s visually striking. Window displays should instantly grab shoppers’ attention, coercing them into the store while promoting your respective products. So, how do you accomplish this? Don’t be afraid to use bold colors, prints and styles to make your window display stand out. A red “Shop Here” sign will undoubtedly prove more effective than a traditional black-and-white sign.

Tip #3) Incorporate Seasonal Elements

Use the seasons to your advantage by incorporating them into your window displays. Both men and women can relate to the seasons, making your window displays appeal to a larger demographic. Something as simple as a winter scene consisting of fake snow flakes and beanie-wearing mannequins can create the perfect seasonal setting. And when spring rolls around, try adding fake (or real) flowers to create an authentic spring setting.

Tip #4) Illumination

When you’re busy styling mannequins and adding props to your window display, it’s easy to overlook something as simple as lighting. Failing to utilize the right lighting, however, can negate all the hard work you’ve invested into the window display. There are several different lighting solutions from which to choose, including overhead fixtures, track lighting, wall sconces, and free-standing floor lamps. Choose the lighting that works best for your particular display.

Tip #5) Color Combinations

Last but not least, play around with different color combinations to see what works and what doesn’t. You want to make your window display stand out, but at the same you time it should feature cohesion within the elements it contains. Mixing brown and black, for instance, typically creates a clashing appearance. Mixing brown with taupe or other lighter shades, on the other hand, can create an aesthetically pleasing display. After setting up your display, take a step back to view it from afar.

If you have any questions at all about visual merchandising please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at https://www.melvinroos.com/contact-us/.

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